On Saturday, CBS Channel 11 here in Dallas put together a nice piece reporting on the decision by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to award Central Dallas Community Development Corporation $12 million in low-income, housing tax credits to be used in bringing the City Walk @ Akard project to the abandoned building at 511 N. Akard in Downtown Dallas.
The report was really thorough, balanced and longer than most stories we've gotten in the past. It also ran first as the 10 o'clock news' "top story."
One segment of the story involved an interview with a man whom I suppose already lives Downtown in one of the renovated, upscale high-rise buildings. The story had been positive until he began to talk. He referred to the recent incidents of violence and murder Downtown. He then described how he would be afraid to walk home at night by our building once it is completed and leased up. The clear implication was that formerly homeless persons and low-wage workers make for dangerous neighbors. Just for the record, one more time, the violent crimes recently committed in Downtown Dallas in the wee hours of the morning have not involved homeless persons or low-wage earners. The violence has centered around popular night clubs and has involved people with money, cars, plenty of alcohol and more than one personal dispute that began inside the bars.
Just because a person lives on the street does not mean that he or she is a violent or criminal threat.
Just because a person has a low-paying job in the Downtown sector does not mean that he or she is a criminal lurking in the shadows ready to mug the first person who happens by.
After awhile, the negative stereotyping gets really tiresome.
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Rising from Ashes
Larry James' Urban Daily
A repository of ideas, resources, commentary and opinions concerning the issues facing low-income residents of the inner cities of the United States and how mainstream America largely forgets or, worse, ignores the day-to-day realities of urban life for the so-called "poor." Written and edited by the President & CEO of CitySquare. Please visit CitySquare.
Today and throughout 2013, we need your support to continue our life-changing work in inner-city Dallas. Every day hundreds of our wonderful neighbors arrive at our doors seeking our assistance, offering their help and prepared to pursue a better life. Frankly, the folks we "serve" make essential contributions to the scope, nature and soul of the work we attempt. At CitySquare we honor and recognize the amazing value and richness of our low-income neighbors. During 2012, almost 55,000 different people received the benefit of our wide-ranging services designed to assist in the process of building better lives. We need your help TODAY as we continue to respond to the needs of our community. Even more, we need you to become our PARTNER in the work of compassion and community renewal--work that continues day after day at CitySquare.